Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on videogames. There may have been some hits (like Tomb Raider or the Resident Evil franchise), but none has ever been critically acclaimed. So perhaps reuniting the cast and director of 2015's Macbeth might finally break the cycle. But while there's plenty of whizzy stuntwork, this film never finds a story or characters to grab hold of the audience.
In present-day Texas, death row prisoner Cal (Michael Fassbender) is executed by lethal injection and wakes up in a gloomy fortress towering over Madrid. He's been saved by shady businessman Rikkin (Jeremy Irons), whose daughter Sofia (Marion Cotillard) is a scientist experimenting with DNA memory. Rikkin needs Cal to travel back into his own history using a mechanical contraption called an Animus to find out where his 15th century ancestor Aguilar (also Fassbender) hid the Apple of Eden, which holds the key to controlling human will. But Cal discovers that he is the last in a long line of Assassins who have sworn to protect the apple from Knights Templar like Rikkin or his imperious supreme leader Ellen (the fabulously gloomy Charlotte Rampling).
The idea is a clever one, and director Justin Kurzel keeps the visuals grounded with action that feels earthy and real rather than digitally manipulated. Indeed, the combination of sleek sci-fi thrills with medieval fantasy horror is very cool. But there's one huge problem with the premise: all of the big fight sequences and eye-catching parkour acrobatics take place in distant history. Cal can experience these things, but he can't actually do anything, so there's no peril involved. Instead, we get endless explanations of the technology and historical inter-connections, which never quite make sense regardless of how much the characters talk about them.
Continue reading: Assassin's Creed Review
Callum Lynch is a criminal facing the death sentence but is given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to escape his fate by joining the mysterious Animus Project set up by Abstergo Industries. Abstergo is to its time essentially what the Knights Templar was in the 12th and 13th century, and want to hook Lynch up to an experimental piece of technology that will allow him to experience and explore the memories of his ancestor Aguilar de Nerha who lived as an Assassin in 15th century Spain. He's returning to the age of the Spanish Inquisition which means he must absorb the warrior skills of his long-dead relative - but that only means that he's developing the tools to take down the organisation that pose a threat to him in the modern day.
Continue: Assassin's Creed Trailer
Brad confesses his love of the World War II film genre.
In the romantic thriller Allied, Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard play spies who fall in love with each other then face a crisis of trust. The setting is a familiar one for Pitt ("Yeah, I do seem to end up in a few World War II films as of late!"), who first heard about the project several years ago while he was making World War Z in England.
Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard star in 'Allied'
"I had a meeting with screenwriter Steven Knight, and he began to tell me the story before he had written it," Pitt says. "I got really intrigued by this idea of a couple and trust - trusting your instinct, trusting each other, trusting the mission. And it was based on members of his family. Many years later, here we are, and it's nice to see this thing come full circle."
Continue reading: Brad Pitt And Marion Cotillard Loved The 1940s Stylings Of Allied
There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a blast of complex romance alongside some dark Hitchcockian twists. But filmmaker Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump) was probably the wrong man for the directing job, as he overproduces every scene to within an inch of its life. Everything is so big and slick that the story begins to be swamped by the too-perfect costumes and scenery. Which makes it difficult for the audience to engage in what should really be a scrappy, dangerous little drama.
It all kicks off in 1942 Casablanca, where Canadian pilot Max (Brad Pitt) meets French resistance agent Marianne (Cotillard), and together they pose as a couple to infiltrate a party and assassinate a high-ranking Nazi. They also fall in love, and afterwards decide to move to London together and start a family. But a year later, as they are raising their young daughter in leafy Hampstead, Max is told by British officials (Jared Harris and Simon McBurney) that Marianne may have secretly been a German spy all along. And there's now a countdown, as a trap as been laid to prove her guilt unless Max can find evidence to the contrary.
What follows is a tense series of events that are drenched in suspicion and intrigue as Max scrambles around to find the truth while trying not to let Marianne know what he's up to. It's a clever set-up that's very nicely played by Pitt and Cotillard, both of whom bring contrasting layers of emotion and subterfuge to their roles, plus plenty of swooning romantic energy. Most intriguing is that both are able to remain likeable as things progress. So whatever the outcome, it won't change how we feel about them. The adept actors in the side roles are excellent, although they're little more than more scenery around the central couple.
Continue reading: Allied Review
Pitt appeared at the red carpet premiere of 'Allied' in L.A. on Tuesday, with reports the following day indicating that the DCFS investigation had been closed.
Brad Pitt has made his first red carpet appearance since his high-profile divorce from Angelina Jolie, in the immediate wake of reportedly being cleared in the investigation that was launched by child services into whether he physically abused his son Maddox aboard a private plane.
The 52 year old actor appeared in Los Angeles on Tuesday night (November 8th) at the premiere of his new film Allied, alongside co-star Marion Cotillard. Onlookers claimed that the star looked like he’d lost a lot of weight since his last public appearance more than two months ago, possibly as the result of the stress of the split plus the investigation.
Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard filming 'Allied' back in March 2016
Lea Seydoux posing alone and with Marion Cotillard at the BFI London Film Festival screening of 'It's Only The End of the World' held at Odeon Leicester Square, London, United Kingdom - Friday 14th October 2016
It's 1942 and the world is in the middle of a war unlike any that have happened before. The Nazi Party not only have control of Germany but they've branched out into France and their grip is tightening on lands further afield. The allied forces only held relatively small areas in France and many operatives worked undercover.
Marianne Beausejour is one such operative, she's a beautiful woman who managed to infiltrate certain circles. She's deep undercover and is trusted by her enemies. Max Vatan is spy assassin who's sent to France to help the allied forces. The pair fall for one another and start a love affair. As their relationship deepens, their safety is compromised and they both must fight to protect the love they've built.
The story for Allied is written by Steven Knight (Burnt & Peaky Blinders) and is said to be based on a true story.
Assassin's Creed sees Michael Fassbender cast as the protagonist Callum Lynch, in this action adventure film that is based on the video game franchise of the same name. Lynch's identity no longer exists and he is forced by revolutionary technology to hear, see and feel the memories of his ancestor Aguilar de Nerha, who was an assassin during the Spanish Inquisition.
Continue: Assassin's Creed Trailer
Fassbender looks back on his drama school days with the Shakespearean epic.
In between his high-profile roles in Slow West, Steve Jobs and the forthcoming X-Men: Apocalypse, Michael Fassbender took time out to shoot a gritty new version of Shakespeare's Macbeth with Australian filmmaker Justin Kurzel. "While on a big film you've got all the options in the world open to you," he says. "But on a small film even getting it made is a hard thing. I love how fast you have to work - that pressure of having to get it right in one take or not at all."
Marion Cotillard and Michael Fassbender have an emotional story to portray in 'Macbeth'
Fassbender's only previous experience with Shakespeare was in drama school. "Shakespeare is challenging because of the language," he says. "And Macbeth is going through quite a lot!"
Continue reading: Macbeth Teams Michael Fassbender And Marion Cotillard
Shakespeare's Scottish play returns to the big screen with earthy energy, visual style and roaring performances. Acclaimed Australian filmmaker Justin Kurzel (Snowtown) takes an artistic approach that makes terrific use of sweeping landscapes and harsh weather, which allows the cast to put their guts into their roles. Yet while the film looks absolutely amazing, the sound mix is so muddled that anyone unfamiliar with the play will find it difficult to follow.
Michael Fassbender plays Macbeth, an 11th century general who has just triumphed on the Highland battlefield but is struggling internally after he and Lady Macbeth (Marion Cotillard) lost their infant child. So when three witches tell him that he is destined to become king, his wife encourages him to make it happen sooner rather than later. In secret, Macbeth murders King Duncan (David Thewlis) and pins the blame on his son Malcolm (Jack Reynor), who flees in fear, raising suspicion. Now on the throne, King and Queen Macbeth are overwhelmed by paranoia about any hint of a threat to their power, raising distrust of loyal friends like Banquo (Paddy Considine) and Duncan's defender Macduff (Sean Harris). Meanwhile, Malcolm has raised an army in England and is coming back to claim his title.
This is one of Shakespeare's bleakest, leanest plays, and Kurzel gives it an intriguingly expansive tone by setting most of the action outdoors in the elements rather than in shadowy castle corridors. In addition to adding a gritty, muddy kick, this allows the battle sequences to take on a Lord of the Rings-scale intensity. So the effect of this violence on the characters is that much more resonant. Lady Macbeth turns inward, tormenting herself in an extended dream sequence, while Macbeth goes the other way, killing anyone who seems even remotely shifty. But of course they also understand that their ambition and guilt are causing these extreme reactions.
Continue reading: Macbeth Review
The 'Macbeth' actress made the comments in a new interview with Porter magazine, in which she claims that the term itself "creates separation".
Former Oscar winner Marion Cotillard believes that feminism is not a useful concept in Hollywood, because the term itself creates “separation” between the sexes.
The 39 year old actor, who stars as Lady Macbeth in the forthcoming Shakespeare adaptation, said in a new interview with Porter magazine: “Filmmaking is not about gender. You cannot ask a president in a festival like Cannes to have, like, five movies directed by women and five by men.” This comment was a reference to the 2012 shortlist at the prestigious festival, when all 22 nominated films were directed by men.
Continue reading: Marion Cotillard Claims Feminism Has No Place In The Film Industry
Date of birth
30th September, 1975
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